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Sustainable Housing Development to Include Unison Smart Tech

Sustainable Housing Development to Include Unison Smart Technologies

[Image: Unison Group Chief Executive Officer Ken Sutherland with solar panels, which will be fitted to the homes as part of the Company’s Interplay research project.]

Monday 10 February 2014 – A sustainable housing development in Hastings is being fitted with the latest in electricity network technology, as part of a research project by lines company, Unison Networks.

The development, located on Fitzroy Avenue, is a joint project between Horvath Homes and Hastings District Properties. It expands on the Best Home concept, with one existing property retro-fitted and eleven new homes built using sustainable building practices, including ‘distributed generation’ technology, consisting of solar panels and an energy storage system.

“The housing development is great for Hawke’s Bay. In addition to showcasing sustainable building practices, these homes will benefit from ‘smart’ network technology, and enjoy the enhanced security and ambience of energy-efficient Philips LED street lighting,” said Unison Group Chief Executive Officer, Ken Sutherland.

“The houses will feature the latest in-home technology, and have UnisonFibre’s ultra-fast broadband service installed, which already offers speeds in excess of one gig. This will be a real-life testament to the benefits of ‘smart living’ in Hawke’s Bay.”

The development forms part of Unison’s ‘Interplay’ research and development project, which is a comprehensive trial providing Unison with first hand-experience of the operation, performance and potential impact of three technologies on the network - electric vehicles, distributed generation such as solar PV, and energy storage.

The subdivision will provide insights and data on consumer behaviour in response to new technology, as well as highlight network impacts.

“The data we gain from the Horvath Homes development, along with other trials as part of the Interplay project, will help inform future development and investment decisions relating to Unison’s network.”

It is expected the subdivision development work will be finished by Christmas, with the first home completed and installed with the energy systems in mid-2014.

Fitzroy Development Facts
• The development will consist of eleven new medium density homes and one existing home, retrofitted to Best Home specs.

• Homes will be designed and constructed using the ‘Best Home’ sustainable approach to building, which factors in site orientation, building materials and construction, energy, heating, water, and infrastructure.

• The Best Home approach includes using rain water for grey water services, and solar energy for both passive heating and the generation of electricity, to help conserve natural resources.

• Unison is installing energy storage and management systems in the homes, which will store solar energy generated by solar PV (photovoltaic) panels, to help reduce peak network demand and costs, delivering electricity savings to home owners.

• Unison will use its fibre optic network to remotely monitor the performance of the network and the homes’ energy storage system.

• UnisonFibre’s network supplying the subdivision is already providing gigabyte services within the region.

• Energy efficient thinking extends to public street lighting, which will be provided by Philips intelligent LED street lighting. The natural white lights use around 60% less energy, and can be remotely controlled to ensure lighting levels meet the ambient and safety needs of the community.

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